Winter Wonderland: Tour Niagara’s Frozen Falls

Here’s how to spend your day in Niagara Falls if you’ve come for this winter phenomenon, from lunch and follow-up activities to dinner, drinks and where to spend the night.

Get your own snapshot of the famous “Frozen Falls” — the ultimate social media post or family photo. And what’s more, Niagara Falls State Park transforms into a stunning winter wonderland.

Let your story begin! Whether it’s your Snapchat streak, a Facebook profile pic or just a memory for your family album, winter in Niagara Falls captures the social-media love like nowhere else on Earth.

8 a.m. | Photo Prep!

Get up and wrap up! Seeing the Falls in the morning means experiencing this wonder while most visitors are still hitting the breakfast buffet. Any savvy Instagrammer will do their homework first, so check out the Niagara Falls USA feed — #niagarafallsusa — before venturing out. This will not only inspire you with great photography, but you’ll spot some of the best angles from which to capture the Falls. A packing tip? Don’t forget to wear some pro-grip thermal gloves in winter as they’ll help you stay cozy while operating your camera and touch-screens.

10 a.m. | American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls

Where better than the iconic Niagara Falls State Park sign to start your shoot? From here, you’ll wander along icicle-shrouded lanterns and frosted fir trees — scenes resembling a New York “Narnia.” Keep the video rolling as you trudge toward the thunder at Prospect Point — your best vantage for the mighty American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Now’s your perfect chance to capture the gushing cascades, the frozen icicles and the ice-capped Niagara Gorge below. Fingers crossed for blue skies for that ultimate polar contrast!

Noon | Lunchtime

After a morning’s shoot, you may need to recharge your batteries — in every sense. Luckily you won’t have far to walk. Downtown Niagara Falls has a stellar menu of eateries, and they don’t fall short on Instagrammable dishes, either. Try the Red Coach Inn for brunch, La Patisserie for coffee and croissants or Chill 443 inside Wyndham Garden at Niagara Falls — offering interactive games, a coffee bar and grab-and-go food options as well as full-service dine-in cuisine and a gastropub-style bar area. You can also play catch-up with posting with all that free Wi-Fi!

2 p.m. | Horseshoe Falls

Feeling refreshed, take the scenic bridge to picture-perfect Goat Island. Here’s where you can shoot the magnificent Horseshoe Falls — just mind your tech with all that spray! From here, check out the indoor World Changed Here Pavilion — a chance to warm up! Inside, learn how Nikola Tesla harnessed the power of the Falls to create alternating current and see what Niagara Falls USA looked like before it was a park. Got a nifty zoom? You’ll also get a chance to snap some of the park’s thriving birdlife. Whether it’s magical captures of the frozen Falls or winter wonderland screen-savers of the park, one thing’s for sure: no filter is ever really necessary in Niagara Falls!

4 p.m. | Adventure Time

You’ve got the magnificent frozen Falls on your camera roll, but what about a different angle? Or better yet, take a tech break and find some adventure. Yes, Niagara Falls USA has two jet boat companies, but Niagara Jet Adventures operates in winter! As it is an enclosed experience, you can zoom down the Class V rapids of the Niagara River surrounded by a majestic, frosty landscape. As long as there’s no ice on the river, Niagara Jet Adventures will still take daring passengers out for their signature 360-degree Cowboy Spin.

6 p.m. | Dinner Date

Looking for the ultimate Niagara Falls foodie shot? With western New York being home of the Buffalo wing, head to downtown Niagara Falls’ Anchor Bar which is famed for being the home of the original chicken wing. Order up a plate with your favorite sauce along with the classic blue cheese and celery sides. Then snap and enjoy!

8 p.m. | Night Illuminations

Now it’s time to brace the elements for the nightly illumination of the Falls. From snow-white by day, the shows transform the Falls into a kaleidoscope of color — emerald green and hot pink to the iconic red, white and blue of the American flag. Automatic mode should do the trick but try playing with your camera’s exposure and aperture settings to really bring those colors to life!

10 p.m. | Lights out!

Come bedtime, there’s a room haven for every budget in Niagara Falls, from the family-friendly Sheraton Niagara Falls to the ultra-chic boutique hotel The Giacomo. To keep the story going, why not spend a night at the Doubletree by Hilton Niagara Falls where rooms come with mood-lit Jacuzzis overlooking the Niagara River. Where better to end your day with a selfie?


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